Jay Harbaugh Says Bunting ‘Most Improved’

Michigan tight ends coach Jay Harbaugh is focused on bringing what he calls “tight end U” to Ann Arbor. Meeting with media this spring, Harbaugh detailed the progress at the position.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Whether it be poor pass protection, inconsistent quarterbacking or coaching, Michigan junior tight end Jake Butt wasn’t targeted enough in 2014.

Catching 20 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns as a true freshman in 2013, Butt had just one more catch, the same amount of touchdown receptions and less receiving yards (211) as a sophomore.

Butt did play in three less games this past season, partially recovering from off-season knee surgery and also a mid year suspension. Either way, his coach, Jay Harbaugh, is pleased with the balance Butt provides at the tight end position.

“Jake is doing well,” Harbaugh said. “He’s a really well rounded player that brings a lot to the table.

“(I’m) really excited about him, he’s getting a lot better and working to improve his detail in his game.”

At 6-foot-7, 243 pounds, perhaps the most intriguing player to watch at the position this spring heading into the 2015 season is redshirt freshman Ian Bunting.

“He’s been getting a lot better,” Harbaugh said. “He’s a guy who’s probably improved the most as spring has gone on here.

“I’ve been really pleased with him and just like all the other guys he brings a tremendous work ethic everyday when he comes out there and just grinds, gets after it for the entirety of the practice and the focus is just on getting better.”

When Harbaugh arrived at Michigan in January, the son of the head coach Jim Harbaugh immediately changed his twitter description to include “tight end U.”

After spending most of the spring coaching up his tight ends, Harbaugh expanded upon his vision for the position group with the Wolverines.

“I really like them,” Harbaugh said. “We have a lot of versatile guys who bring different sorts of mismatches to the table, guys that are big, guys that are fast and all of them can catch. They all can block or are getting better at blocking.

”I kind of, I guess I envisioned all of those guys coming along and eventually getting more guys so we have an Army of big, tall, fast guys that can present problems for linebackers and safeties on other teams.”

Redshirt sophomore Khalid Hill has been engaged mentally this spring, according to Harbaugh. Hill is coming off surgery after tearing his ACL in October.

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